FAIRFIELD, CT - Senior Katelyn Noschese buried an overtime game-winning goal, as the Iona Gaels (3-4) edged out Sacred Heart (2-2) 14-13 on Wednesday afternoon. In a game that saw each team go on runs in the second half, the Maroon & Gold were able to top the Pioneers 1:21 into the extra frame.
For the Gaels, Noschese finished the game with four goals on seven shots, while also grabbing two ground balls. Sophomore Christine Gironda led the team with five goals on eight shots, and added five draw controls. Senior Pamela Giordano tallied a hat-trick and dished out the assist on the game-winner.. Senior Grace Celona was an assist machine, dishing out a game-high six in the contest.
Iona outshot Sacred Heart 30-28, grabbed 17 of 30 ground balls, and controlled 16 of 27 draws. The Maroon & Gold tallied the only two shot attempts in overtime, with Noschese connecting for the game-winner.
The Gaels opened up the scoring 2:17 in the contest when junior Jenna Tolzmann found a streaking Giordano in front to put the Gaels ahead. Afer a Sacred Heart goal knotted the score, the Gaels rattled off four more tallies to put the score at 5-1. During the run, Noschese found the back of the net and was followed by Pugh's eighth of the season off a feed from Celona. Gironda tallied the next pair, with the latter coming on Celona's second assist.
Sacred Heart halted the Gaels' run with 15:48 remaining, but the Maroon & Gold answered back with goals from Giordano and Noschese. Just as the game started to look in favor of the Gaels, Sacred Heart closed out the half scoring two, cutting the lead to 7-4.
Noschese put Iona up by five to open up the second period of play, before the Pioneers' tore through the Gaels' defense, pouring on six unanswered goals in six minutes to give Sacred Heart a shocking 10-8 advantage. The Maroon & Gold then went on a run of their own, scoring the next three. In the five-minute span, Giordano, Noschese, and finally Celona capped off a comeback to put the Gaels back ahead 11-10.
Sacred Heart's Alyssa Pierce and Gironda would trade goals in the remaining eight minutes of play. Gironda put the Gaels ahead with 7:36 and 1:47 remaining to iona a 13-12 advantage. Pearce connected with her fourth goal of the game with just 35 ticks on the clock. After sophomore Libby Miller controlled the draw, the ball found Gironda's stick in the final seconds, but the shot went wide as the two squads needed an extra period to decide the contest.
In overtime, Gironda controlled the opening draw, and the Gaels would not relinquish. Giordano then found a cutting Noschese, who ripped it into the corner to seal the Iona victory.
The Gaels return home on Saturday to do battle with Brown at Mazzella Field beginning at 1:00 PM.